When you hear the words “Business Management 101,” you probably imagine four months of weekly classes and exams. If you signed up for this course, you would learn many concepts, but some of them may not apply to your specific learning needs. You would benefit from micro-learning courses.
Micro-learning courses focus on one concept or skill at a time. This way learners can choose which ideas and techniques will help them achieve their goals quickly. This learner objective is the basis for micro-learning course development.
Focus on the micro-learner
The key to creating an effective micro-course is designing it around the micro-learner. To do this, create a short profile of the ideal micro-learner for your course. Does the learner have any prior experience? Will the learner complete the course as part of job training? How much time will the micro-learner have to complete the course?
Steps to micro-learning course development
The following seven steps ensure that any micro-course is developed for the learner.
- One skill or concept: Choose one skill or idea that learners of a subject need. Avoid the temptation to add two or three techniques and concepts.
- Vision of success: Decide what successful completion of the micro-course looks like. Will the micro-learner be able to merge multiple documents in various formats into one? Or apply a process’s steps to a real-life example?
- Feedback: Determine how micro-learners will receive feedback during the course. Feedback can be a checklist of completed segments, short quizzes, or completing small tasks.
- Organization: When writing the content, write skill steps in order and include a chart or diagram. If the micro-course focuses on a concept, explain it in terms of relationships, such as problem-solution, cause-effect, compare and contrast. Again, a chart or diagram will reinforce the information and support visual learners.
- Limit information. Limit the amount of information on each slide or page. The standard limit is 3-5 sentences.
- Optional information: Avoid adding non-essential information. If you feel you must, make it optional by including a clearly marked “for further enrichment” link.
- Assessment: Include an assessment at the end of the course. Assessment material should not be copied and pasted from earlier portions of the course. Rather, the assessment should measure how well learners apply the skill or concept to a real-life situation. This way learners can gauge their success by their scores.
It makes sense to design any micro-course with the micro-learner in mind. After all, it was the needs of learners that prompted the creation of micro-courses. And in the future, their needs will direct the evolution of micro-learning courses.